God's Word is our Great Heritage: Defining WELS Pastoral Recruitment Philosophy for Continued Excellence in Raising Up Future Public Ministers
Thomford, Hans J.
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Our Lord has been calling and equipping his people to know, love, and serve him since the beginning of time. For he also called and sent specific individuals to guard and watch over his people so that they would see his promised grace to come. In The New Testament, he willed men to serve in the office of public ministry to all people. Today, he is still extending a wonderful blessing in having individuals who carry out this public ministry for all people. God’s people have the freedom to train individuals to serve in this God-given capacity and privilege. Therefore, his people also have the freedom to encourage individuals for service to the Lord. But, how do God’s people promote this specific God-given privilege and blessing within a world that is also encouraging individuals to pursue different vocations? This thesis seeks to define “recruitment” philosophy for the public ministry of pastors. It starts by looking at why God’s people encourage men for the public ministry. Then, it shows the impact of that biblical recruitment philosophy through WELS’s history of recruiting men into public ministry. It highlights the contrasts between the world’s view and religious view of recruitment and the potential challenges of public ministry recruitment today.